- [Narrator] Today on This Old House,
three apprentices join our This Old House team.
- [Kevin] Nathan, Bailey, Austin.
Nice to meet you guys.
Our homeowners are at the stage of the project where they've
got to make a lot of decisions about the inside finishes.
What happened to all this plumbing here?
- [Tommy] I've never seen anything like this before.
- There's already rot going on in that trunk.
So what have you found up here?
- Well, a bit of a surprise.
- It's really the classic plumber's lament.
- [Kevin] Nice, nice.
- That is right on.
- [Kevin] Family that paints together, stays together.
Nice job guys.
- Where will a slab like this be used?
- The money is in the detail.
- [Man] Oh, look at that fit.
That is beautiful.
- Hi there.
I'm Kevin O'Connor and welcome back to This Old House.
You can see that we're working on this modest house
from the late 1800s,
and we've been making some more space.
So, right here this foundation is for a
new two car garage and that'll have
some living space up top for the in-laws,
and you'll be able to go from the living space
in the garage area, right into the house, through a mudroom.
Now you may remember that last week
we poured this foundation here.
We came off of the house just a few feet.
There'll be a new powder room right here.
And then this bump out that you're seeing,
this is going to be extra space for our kitchen.
Our front porch probably isn't original of the house,
but we've got something funky going on with it.
And that means we've got to get underneath and check it out
so Tommy knows what to do to it.
And inside when you first walk into the house,
there is this fireplace.
Liz and Joe with like it gone,
but the budget's tight.
So we have to figure out if we could do that or not.
In this living room, pretty much everything stays the same,
but as you come into the dining room,
well, you can see a lot of work's going on in here.
there used to be a wall right here with a single door
going into the kitchen and then a another door
going into the kitchen from this space and Tommy,
most of it's down.
They really want to open this space up
and you've got some beams going in.
- Right, now you see that beam right there,
that's called an LVL, a Laminated Veneer Lumber.
- [Kevin] Yep.
And that's resting on a post there,
a post here and another post here.
- And what is it holding up?
- Well, if you look at the old studs up there,
- those are all two by fours, full dimensional,
but they're actually holding
the second floor, roof and wall.
So we had to build a temporary wall.
To do that we built studs on an angle, down to the floor.
We made a whole wall out here
so we could then cut away the structure below
to insert the beam up there.
- So that is in and that used to be the old
exterior part of the house,
which explains why it's carrying the roof.
Now that that's up, what do you got going?
- All right, so the next thing is, you know,
in the plans we're going to open up this wall between
the dining room and the kitchen and make this one big space.
- So that's the temporary walls here.
One on each side of the old bearing wall
that ran down the middle.
- Now that the weight's off,
we're ready to remove these old studs.
Michael, grab that sledgehammer and hit the bottom.
Knock them out.
There you go.
Now we're going to twist the top out
and any nails that are left up there,
that's good we got them all out.
So take out the rest of these,
clean up this mess and pull out any loose nails, all right?
Get this opening up and we can get the LVLs in.
- So with that out, Tommy, what is going up there for beam?
- Well, we're going to use an LVL,
same height as this one, just going to be longer,
but because of the span and what the engineer has specced,
we need to put three of them together.
Three of them are pretty heavy,
So I think the safest way to do it,
we're going to build it in place.
- All right, and then hang it on what?
- Well, on that end, we have a jack stud on that end,
but a six by six post.
It's in about two and a half, three feet,
- Six by six post on this end.
And we need a shelf under the beam on this end.
So we're going to actually add a hanger against that LVL.
So it'll sit on it.
- All right.
Well, it sounds like you've got a plan
and it looks like you got yourself
some new hands right there.
So maybe I dismiss myself, and let you beat up on him.
- All right, I think I can do that.
- Good look, Michael. - Thanks.
- All right, let's get this cleaned up.
We want to cut these LVL's, get the measurement.
(upbeat guitar music)
How big they measure?
- [Michael] 155 and a--
- [Tommy] 155 1/2.
(power saw whirring)
Easy now, I don't want anybody tripping.
All right, check your crown.
There you go, now you're in.
Push it right up there.
There you go.
Get them in.
(Tommy drowned out by background music)
Now put a screw.
All right, you good down there?
- Our homeowners are at the stage of the project
where they've got to make a lot of decisions
about the inside finishes.
So they want to reach out to an interior designer.
And fortunately they don't have to look far
because there is one who works for the architect
who drew the plans.
- [Narrator] Want to tackle all your home improvement
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- Continuous paint color.
- [Kevin] Hey Joe, hey Liz.
- Hey, how are you? - Chloe, nice to meet you.
- Nice to meet you, too.
- Always a pleasure when we get a designer
who works with the architect,
that seems to make it seamless.
What is the scope of the operation today?
- We were looking for help with the kitchen,
the mudroom and the master bathroom.
- [Kevin] All right, three important rooms.
And Chloe, what's your process?
How do you get started with something like that?
- Generally like to get started by
looking at the layout and if there's anything special,
any sort of heirlooms
that they want to bring into the space.
- For your guys' inspiration,
is there a starting point for you?
What did you tell Chloe?
- It would have to do with this plate actually.
- [Kevin] started with the China, huh?
- [Liz] This was my grandmother's plate.
- [Kevin] Very nice.
- And so I had that growing up, as did my dad,
and now we have it and we use it every day
and it's been manufactured since, like, the 1700s.
So, I don't know, I just love the color.
We both loved that color a lot, so.
- Is that something you can start with?
- Yeah, that's definitely a great starting point for us.
They told us they loved that plate, which means,
you know, maybe we do something for the island,
which is really special.
So we're thinking of doing a Navy Island
and that'll be the focal point when you walk into the space.
- [Kevin] Okay.
- [Chloe] And then also we're going to display
the plates on some really nice open shelves in the corner.
- [Kevin] What do you guys think of that?
- I'm really excited.
- [Kevin] Cool.
All right, very nice.
- The other thing that they came to me
that they wanted to do,
that was a little bit different,
is something behind the range.
- [Joe] So, we're thinking about putting
a fireback over the stove.
- [Kevin] What are you calling it?
- [Joe] It's a fireback.
So these big pieces of cast iron that
people used to put on the backs of their fireplaces
to protect the back wall and to radiate some of the heat.
- [Kevin] Oh cool, so this whole thing here
is metal with this sort of stamped impression in it?
- [Joe] Yeah.
- So how big is something like, oh, that big?
- You can get them in all sizes.
- You can get them in all sizes?
Check that out!
Boy, that is going to draw your eye to it.
I've never even heard of this.
So that's a first.
- [Chloe] Going to be a unique piece in the kitchen.
- [Liz] Yeah, a little bit more of a piece of art.
- So we're going to move through this
really open living space.
Here we are in the dining room.
You can just see how big it is compared to the old house.
- [Kevin] Right, and very open.
- Yeah, it's hard to believe at the same house.
- [Kevin] Okay.
- [Chloe] And Liz and Joe had come to me
talking a little bit about wanting to use
a patterned or bordered tile in their mudroom space.
So we talked to them about using cement tile in that space.
- [Kevin] Fairly new.
I mean, we saw this last couple of years being used,
but the idea of cement tile is a very unique pattern.
I mean, that is gorgeous.
You guys like that?
- Yeah. - Yeah.
- [Kevin] All right, those are good options right there.
- And there's another special feature
in this space, actually, we have this great
custom built-in which we designed and above it,
we're going to do it stained glass window,
which Liz will actually design.
- Yep, I'm working with a local stained glass artist
to design a window and actually build it for this house.
- [Kevin] Cool.
So custom and really just make it your own.
- [Kevin] Love that idea.
All right, so you're pretty far
along the way with the mudroom.
How about master bath?
That's an important space in the house and there are
a whole lot of decisions in the bathroom, right?
You're finding that out.
- [Chloe] So, master bathroom will be
a little more traditional, a little more Victorian.
- [Kevin] You guys like it?
- [Joe] Yeah.
- Yeah, very much.
- All right, surfaces in here, do we know that much already
or is it a little too early?
- So we've thought a lot about the floor, actually.
So we're just, Liz wanted to do
a border with the tile around it.
So we've focused a lot about making some
decisions so far with that.
So if you move that, you can see some really
pretty examples of different ways we can do a floor tile.
- [Kevin] So this is a large piece,
I presume this is marble right here?
- [Chloe] Yep, Carrara marble.
- [Kevin] And we've got sort of the mosaics,
that we can do can do around the border.
Check that out.
- Yep, so you got a couple different options.
So we would do the field tile on the edge
and then the mosaic, and then we would do
the little two-inch hexagons in the middle, so.
- Which ones?
These right here.
So this is the field,
maybe a border or something right in here.
- So this is pretty far along.
You've got a good master plan.
You now know you still have a lot of decisions to make,
but you're in good hands with Chloe.
So if you guys keep making the decisions,
we can keep building.
- [Liz] Great.
- All right, thank you guys.
- Thanks. - Thank you Kevin.
- Welcome to This Old House.
- Is this the future I'm looking at here?
- It's not the future yet, sonny.
Hey guys, welcome to the site.
- Well, it is a special day on This Old House.
As part of our Generation Next initiative,
we initiated a nationwide search for people
who are interested in the building trades
and interested in working with us.
And we got a lot of applications.
We have picked three and they are going to be apprentices
here on the Newton job site and they have just arrived.
- Nice to meet you.
- [Kevin] Austin, nice to meet you guys.
Welcome to the team. - Thank you.
- You've Obviously met Mr. Silva and I'm sure Tommy,
you've got a lot to do with these guys.
- Sure do, we're actually going to put them to work
right now, but the first thing,
I'm going to set them up with some tools.
Follow me, guys.
All right, so the first thing we're going to need
is some basic tools to carry with you and to carry them,
I brought some new nail bags for you
and I like this apron style right here
so that I can reach all four of the bags
with my left hand, leaving my right hand
free to hold my hammer or my a knife when I'm cutting stuff.
So you may find that later on,
you might like a different kind and that's your preference.
But to put in the nail bag, obviously a speed square,
great for 90s and 45s.
And then you can swing your angles from there.
Great to have for all kinds of framing.
A utility knife you'll find to be very handy
for nothing else would sharpen a pencil,
cutting poly, tar paper, shingles, all kinds of things.
A chalk line for snapping straight lines,
If you're doing a lot of siding, roofing, tapering a board,
whatever, or just using it as a straight line
to measure off of.
You never know when you're going to need a chisel
to notch a piece of wood, or get something out.
And in combination with a hammer, you can do a lot of work.
Now, a hammer.
This is a 20-ounce hammer.
You may find that later on, you might like
a heavier hammer or a lighter hammer.
I use a 20 or a 16 and I carry it with me all the time.
I've gone the route of 28s and all that,
and why bother when I can do the same job with this?
I also like a straight claw hammer, especially in framing,
because if you're notching something out,
you can use this as a chisel quickly
and then fine tune it with your chisel.
Great for pulling nails in hard to get places
and you get a good leverage with it.
A bar like this, this is actually called
a cat's bar, a cat's paw on the end here
for pulling nails and getting them
out of hard to get places.
And this flat end right here are great for shimming
and sliding windows over, pulling things out,
getting things under, so you can get it in and out,
get it started to get a bigger bar in there later.
A couple of pencils are always good to have
because you don't know whether or not
if you're going to drop it, you don't want to have to
run down off of a ladder to get another pencil.
Scribes are great for marking radiuses or
cutting a board that's going to follow,
let's say, another row of shingles or a chimney.
You can scribe right down and then fine tune that.
Tape measure is a must.
I carry a 25 in my apron because I like
the beefiness of a 25.
Let's say if I want to run a long line out and
I don't have anybody on the other end, if you practice,
you might be able to get that sucker out 12 or 15 feet.
Again, you can hook it on
and you don't need somebody else there to help you.
And then a must would be safety glasses.
When you're cutting, chiseling or whatever, you never know.
You don't want anything getting into your eye.
So these are a must.
So if you want to take a belt,
load it up and we can get going to work.
All right, guys, everybody ready?
Grab what you have, grab your pencils,
and let's take a walk out to the sidewalk
and look back at our first project.
And I want you to look at the front of the house and tell me
what you think the issues are with this front porch.
- Well, that corner in the front is sagging quite a bit.
- Down here?
- Yep, okay.
- You see the arc in the railing right there, also.
- The railing has got a bow in it like that.
- [Nathan] It looks like there's some water damage
under the boards on the roof.
- Yeah, the ceiling definitely
has some damage there.
The front stairs there they're wrong.
And the lattice is all screwed up.
Well, let's take a look over here
on this far corner and see what
we've got going on right here.
Let me pull this weed away.
See what we have here.
Okay, so, here's the column base right here.
And if we look at this porch decking,
it's all crumbled away.
This post base should be sitting on top of
some of the decking and it's also compressed.
So there's probably some rot in the structure.
So the first thing we need to do is
remove all this lattice and trim
so we can get under there and assess the situation.
All right, guys, the house was built in the late 1800s.
So we have to assume that there's lead.
We need to protect the site and ourselves against it.
So let's suit up.
(upbeat guitar music)
All right guys, why don't we
wrap this bundle up and we'll take it off to the dumpster.
So just pick it up a little bit,
so we cut it and then we get some tape, tape it together.
All right, guys, nice job getting all the trim off
and cleaning up the site.
So now let's see what we have here.
Well, underneath this post right here,
I can see the decking is also rotted
and the beam itself is rotted.
And you can see that they put a piece
of pressure treated on the end here,
so they must have replaced that beam on that end.
And the thing that really jumped out at me
from out there is, you can see that they put a joint
right in the middle of the span.
And this is a scarf joint and is way too small
for the span and it really should be supported.
So they replaced a rotted end here,
but you can really see,
now we knew that the decking was rotted under the post.
You can see that not only the decking is rotted and gone,
but the end of this beam is rotted and
it's carpenter ants, so that's definitely rotted.
So let's take a look underneath, see what we have here.
All right, so the first thing I see is we have two by sixes.
they should really be two by eights for this span.
And if you look at the end of the joist,
directly sitting on this two by three, which is a ledger,
we probably didn't have metal hangers,
so they put it on a ledger.
Well, I guess after looking down here,
I guess the smartest thing to do
would be taking all of this out.
But we have to make sure we save some things.
The homeowners want to save the railings,
the balusters, the columns, if we can.
So that's the main thing.
Now we gotta support the roof
and demo everything down below.
(upbeat guitar music)
- There are many reasons people go into the building trades.
For Norm, Tommy and Richard,
well they all started working with their dads.
Some people learn about construction in school
and for others, it's a career change.
And for our three apprentices,
well, they each have their own story.
When did you get on the job site for the first time?
- Really young, working with my father.
We used to do some roofing on the weekends
with my other brothers.
You know, half days or days I might've been sick
or something like that.
Sometimes I go out to the job site with him.
- Play hooky?
You can play on a job site?
- A little bit.
It was a lot more fun out there than in school.
So I did community college for about a year and a half.
And then I always knew I wanted to join the Navy.
My father was a Seabee, my grandfather was a Seabee.
So I knew, that's, their stories.
You know, all right, I gotta do this or I'll regret it.
So I did carpentry with my father before I joined,
went in, went to the Seabees,
and when I got out, I just went right back to work.
- [Kevin] So third-generation Seabee.
- So what types of places
around the world did you deploy to?
- I went to Afghanistan.
- [Kevin] How many years?
- Five years.
- Are you surprised to know that there's a huge shortfall
of people going into the building trades?
- I'm not.
The last few years working with my dad,
and we've been doing some large jobs in the vineyard.
Big scale jobs.
There's a lot of guys there and they're all much older
and they all talk about it.
"Hey, you know, what's up with your,
what's up with all the guys, your age, what are they doing?"
And this is an opportunity that no one I know has ever had.
And no one I probably ever know will have this opportunity
besides the two other apprentices out there.
- [Kevin] So what are you doing here?
- I applied because of my instructors.
They told everyone about the opportunity.
I don't know if they pushed anyone
as much as they were pushing me, 'cause they
kind of saw it as something that I would be good at.
I'm at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor, Maine.
It's the building construction program.
We also have fun woodworking program,
which I might do after this.
It's pretty exciting.
Teach me some patience.
We build a house every year.
This year we actually built two houses.
We built one on the campus,
which is what they always have done.
And we built one for Habitat for Humanity.
- What do your friends think?
- I mean, they were supportive about it.
They weren't really surprised
'cause I was always the tomboy in the group, I guess.
- [Kevin] Yeah.
- So they knew I would do something like this.
'Cause before I was going to become an auto mechanic,
like my dad, but then I switched over.
Are you surprised that a lot of people are not going into
a job where they have to work with their hands?
- No, not really, knowing people my age,
it's not really surprising that a lot of them are trying,
getting away from stuff like that.
But I think that makes it even more exciting
to go into the industry
and be one of the new people coming up.
- And what are your, what's your hope
from being on this internship, this apprenticeship,
what do you hope to get out of it?
- Experience, learn new things, learn new techniques.
Just basically learning.
I mean the TV part is extra,
but I'm here for a job and to learn.
- [Tommy] Pretty good, mark it on the left side of the line.
- I'm living in Castle Hayne, North Carolina.
I just graduated high school Saturday.
Literally got on a plane Sunday morning,
seven o'clock, my first flight ever.
So it was exciting.
New activity for me.
- And you got on that plane to come see us?
- Yes, yeah.
I was very fortunate and lucky
to be able to come work with you guys.
- [Kevin] So who you living with?
Who's at home?
- I'm living with my mother and four or five siblings.
This past year though, I was actually
dual enrolled with the local community college.
They have a two-year program in construction management.
- [Kevin] Mm-hm.
- So I've got one year down in that.
- So why construction management?
- Well, ever since I was little,
I've always been seeing houses being built,
buildings, just always wondered how it went together.
What was the whole process?
- [Tommy] Ready?
- [Austin] So it just went from there.
- So what are you hoping to get out of doing this
apprenticeship on this job site?
In other words, I know that you want to be hands on,
but you know, you are working with Tom Silva,
you know, and you work with two other apprentices.
- [Austin] Yeah.
- [Kevin] It's going to be a pretty intensive 10 weeks.
Like, what do you hope it's like for that summer?
- Well, hopefully it'll be a great experience
of what actually on a construction job site will be.
Learn a lot of tips from everybody.
- [Tommy] Eight inches or so.
- So you stuck them under the porch,
and put them in Tyvek suits on the first day, nice.
- That's what I do, I got to test them out.
- So what's going through your head
when you've got new kids on the job site?
- First thing I want to do
is I want to figure out their skill level.
Can they handle a hammer, you know,
or saw or something like that?
Now I know Nathan has some experience
because he worked with his dad.
- Bailey and Austin, I'm not sure yet.
So I get to see what they can do.
- Find out, right?
So you think they're gonna make it?
- Oh, they'll make it.
- I'll push them a little bit in the beginning.
- All right, sounds good.
So until then, I'm Kevin O'Connor
- And I'm Tom Silva.
- And those are the new apprentices for This Old House.
So you never gave me any tools when I started.
- Well, there's a reason for that.
- [Kevin] Just a pencil.
All I got was a pencil.
Look at this, what do we got here, Tommy?
- This is actually corrugated structural steel.
- [Kevin] Next time on This Old House.
- [Tommy] We go to great lengths
to fix a one inch step, between the old, and the new.
- And it's a design that never went out of style.
The clawfoot tub.
- That's interesting.
- Yes, check out this one over here.
Look at the feet here.
- [Liz] Oh wow.
- [Kevin] And we find a group in Baltimore
that's changing lives and the building trades.
- [Tommy] That's next time on This Old House.